20 April 2023 15:45 Man jailed for manslaughter after assault in Westminster Originally the victim of an assault in central London, Paul Mason died from his injuries six months later in hospital

A man has been jailed following a retrial in connection with the death of Paul Mason in 2020.

Steven Murdoch Allan, 35 (07.03.88) of Grensell Close, Eversley, Hampshire, appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 20 April where he was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of Paul Mason.

Allan had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was found not guilty of murder on Thursday, 2 February.

Originally the victim of an assault in Westminster, Paul Mason died from his injuries six months later in hospital prompting the launch of an investigation led by Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.

Police had been called at 22:35hrs on 15 December 2020 to reports of a man found unconscious at Cambridge Circus, W1.

Officers attended along with London Ambulance Service (LAS) and 51-year-old Paul Mason was found with a head injury. He was taken to hospital by LAS where his condition was critical.

Detectives released an image of the suspect believed to have punched Mr Mason and appealed for help to identify him. Allan contacted police himself and on 17 December 2021, was charged with grievous bodily harm.

On 4 June 2022, officers were made aware that Paul Mason had died in hospital. His next of kin were supported by specially trained officers.

Allan’s charge was amended to murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley, said: “Paul Mason’s death tragically illustrates the consequences of resorting to physical violence. Even where there is no murderous intent, there is no guarantee that a violent attack won’t result in death.

“Mr Mason’s family are devastated by this incident. Paul was an innocent victim of an unprovoked attack which resulted in a serious brain injury. They have had the unenviable experience of a trial and a retrial but have acted with dignity throughout. Our thoughts are very much with them today.”

A spokesperson for Paul Mason’s family, said:We are immensely disappointed that the jury did not all see the intent to cause serious harm that most people who saw the CCTV concluded. We really hoped he would get a life sentence, but we must try to accept the jury’s decision. At least he will be imprisoned for killing Paul and we can start to move forward a little.

“Words cannot express how traumatised and distressed we were when we were told about the attack on Paul, a senseless act of violence on an entirely innocent man simply making his way home from an evening out with friends. As it was the time of strict COVID guidelines Paul’s parents were blue lighted to the London hospital in the early hours of the morning, fully gowned they were allowed a short time with Paul to say goodbye as his condition was so critical. We could then only talk to him via FaceTime once a day as he lay in a coma. We could not see him in person for over three months, only then a brief meet outside the hospital on his birthday. Months of hope and torment followed as the extent of brain injury emerged and ultimately took his life.

“No parent or sibling should have to sit and watch their loved one slowly die as we endured once his life support was turned off six months after the attack. He was not ill or old, another man took his life. We hope he feels the shame and guilt of his actions every single day until he takes his last breath. Forgiveness does not seem possible right now.

“Paul was remarkable, a kind, gentle soul who never harmed anyone and as we know he tried to walk away from his killer. He brought joy and laughter to all that knew him, he had many friends across the world that adored him. He was highly respected for his career achievements in the international banking industry and recognised as a Freeman of the City of London. He was loved by so many friends and colleagues across the world and an integral part of a now devastated family. He was a loving son, grandson, uncle, brother, and active God Parent to five children. He was best man at many friends’ weddings and in demand as a perfect God parent. A huge void, without the love and support he offered, remains.

“He was full of integrity and compassion and was actively involved in charitable organisations despite his demanding role at QNB. A valued Trustee for the Lyme Regis Museum and supporter of Adventure Ashram, raising funds and taking part in fundraising events such as the annual car rally. In Paul’s honour Adventure Ashram charity named the best car award in his memory and Paul’s family will continue to support this charity that was so important to him.

“Paul, not a regular runner took on the Royal Parks half marathon and raised funds for MND charity and took on the huge challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and helped raise over £11k for Cystic Fibrosis Trust charity.

“The Lyme Regis Museum will have a dedicated piece of art commissioned to benefit the community on their terrace to remember Paul and his commitment to the Museum and preserving history for all, funded by donations from friends.

“We are determined that Paul’s legacy will live on and he will be remembered for the joy and kindness he brought to the world and anyone that ever had the pleasure of meeting him, not for the senseless violence inflicted on him which took his life.

“Violence against anyone is abhorrent, we should be safe to walk the streets of London without fear of attack. Fists can be fatal weapons; our brains are fragile, and we must learn from this and other tragedies like this where lives are needlessly lost and the ripple effect of murder is intensely felt.

“We will be eternally grateful to the three nurses who bravely, after witnessing the attack, stepped in to protect and care for Paul as he lay unconscious on the pavement before Paul’s killer ran away. The helicopter emergency service, on scene medics, the critical care team at St Mary’s who battled to save Paul’s life and all the clinician’s involved in Paul’s care. Our wonderful NHS at its very best despite being mid-pandemic. Also, the Met police and CPS for bringing the perpetrator to justice and face the consequences of his actions which thankfully was caught on London’s CCTV network.

“Rest in eternal peace PHM, you will be missed forever more.”